MSF concerned over 'worsening' situation in CAR

2016-11-19 21:27
Picture supplied by MSF

Picture supplied by MSF

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Cape Town – Humanitarian group, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), says the situation in the strife-torn Central African Republic is "worsening", despite a new government that was voted into place early this year.

In an interview with News24, MSF field worker, Augustin Majiku said the humanitarian situation in the central Africa country was "deteriorating". 

"What does normal mean for a country that has been on a protracted crisis for decades? The most acute phase of the crisis may be over, but the problems are far from solved," said Majiku. 

President Faustin-Archange Touadera was elected early this year but, according to reports, he still does not have full control of the country.

Efforts to disarm Muslim and Christian militia responsible for thousands of deaths and the displacement of 10% of the population have also failed. 

The country was plunged into an ethnic – religious war after a failed coup in 2013.

Humanitarian support 

Successful elections were held in February and donor organisations slowly pulled out. 

MSF maintained that the country still needed humanitarian support.

The group said that there was need for more commitment to humanitarian aid and "improving access to healthcare".

Central African Republic

                                                            Picture supplied by MSF

MSF warned the situation could soon turn catastrophic, as a large number of people remained prisoners of violence and "do not have access to basic services, such as housing, food, potable water, sanitation, health care and protection".

More than half of the country's population, the group said, was in need of humanitarian assistance and nearly 400 000 were internally displaced, whereas another half a million had sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

One of the victims of the ongoing violence nearly lost her two daughters after she was unable to get them to a nearby clinic run by MSF due to widespread fears of armed men.

The armed men usually would demand about $1 which could buy a small pot of vegetables sufficient to feed a family.

The mother of two, who was only identified  as Zita, 23, said she was forced to walk about 20km from Ngoumouru to the nearest MSF health facility after one of her daughters contracted malaria.

Central African Republic

Picture supplied by MSF

She said that on arrival at the health facility she was only given paracetamol, and had to be transferred to another larger health facility about 30km away in Kabo.

"I don't usually travel on the roads due to the security situation. There are often armed men on the roads demanding things from the people who try to pass by. Even if you are on a bike or a motorcycle, they harass you for money. Even, if you are trying to transport a sick person. If you are on foot, sometimes they'll let you pass without asking for anything. That is why we came on foot. We can't spare the money to pay them: they could demand 250 to 500 Francs CFA each time," said Zita.

International donors on Thursday pledged at least $2.2bn in aid for the strife-torn country.

The pledge topped the $1.6bn that Touadera had wanted over three years to kick-start the devastated economy bu were short of the $3bn targeted for the five-year programme. 

Read more on:    msf  |  central african  |  republic  |  central africa

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